5 ETFs for the World's Competitive Nations | ETF Trends

The World Economic Forum recently unleashed its annual ranking of the world’s most competitive countries. Who’s hot, who’s lost it and which exchange traded funds (ETFs) can you use to play them?

Let’s get the bad news out of the way first: The United States slipped to fourth from second in the annual rankings of the world’s most competitive economies. Two years ago, the U.S. economy was perched atop the list. Not only did the budget shortfall play a factor, the weak public faith in the political leadership continues to resonate as a negative. The lack of macroeconomic stability continues to be the United States’ greatest area of weakness.

So, where can you turn?

Simon Kennedy for BusinessWeek reports that Switzerland took the top spot, praised for its business culture and innovation. iShares MSCI Switzerland (NYSEArca: EWL) [Switzerland Bucks the Trend.]

Other countries that got a big nod in the rankings:

  • Sweden: Jumped two spots into second place for its transportation system and ethical dealings. iShares MSCI Sweden (NYSEArca: EWD)
  • Singapore: Held steady in third place, winning points for a lack of corruption and government efficiency. iShares MSCI Singapore Index (NYSEArca: EWS) [Behind Singapore’s Great Growth.]
  • Netherlands: Remained in the top 10, praised for anti-monopoly policies, low inflation and strong levels of internet access. iShares MSCI Netherlands (NYSEArca: EWN).
  • Denmark and Finland: Both countries also remained in the top 10. The Nordic countries are having a good year; this region also topped happiness surveys in recent months. Global X FTSE Nordic 30 (NYSEArca: GXF) holds 43.4% Sweden, 20% Denmark, 18.3% Finland.

Tisha Guerrero contributed to this article.

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.